Updated: Aug 28
It's time to get that home office in shape! At our house, we flipped the original dining room into a library-office combo which houses our book collection, a reading chair, and a built-in desk. This has always been my husband's work space so when I started working from home I had to figure out how to make another spot in our house work for me. Of course we're not swimming in excess space so this means double-duty. Kitchen table? Why not. Sofa? For sure! Whether you have a dedicated room or not an inch to spare you can still manage a functional work space. I've lived and learned and now I'm passing on my favorite WFH setup tips.
Dining Table Double Duty
We've all done it. There's no where to spread out and work so we gather around the dining table and set up shop. It's a fine solution, but the danger lurks in that 5pm slump when you don't have the energy to pack it back up again. And so the papers sit and you eat dinner leaning over the sink.
Easy solve: create a work bin or basket for yourself with all the necessities: charging cables, pens, note pads, a USB mouse, sticky notes, etc. When you're ready to get the day started grab your basket and find your spot for the day. When you're done throw it all back in and place back on a shelf or under a side table so it's out of sight. The trick also works well if you like to work from a coffee shop or the library (you know, when you're not quarantined at home). Just leave the basket in the trunk of your car so you always have what you need no matter where you are.
Entryway Command Center
If the idea of giving up even one square foot of space gives you hives, then a small command center might be the solution for you. While this can go anywhere, I find the entryway to be the perfect spot. Look for wall mounted options with hooks for your laptop bag, a shelf to house pens, and a small chalk or cork board to leave notes. Hang a basket to catch daily mail and other paperwork. If you can manage it, a secretary desk is a great addition to the entryway. Use it as a spot to perch when you need an actual desk and keep office supplies or a stray scarf or pair of gloves in the drawers.
(Living Room) Corner Office
If you can, carve out a small corner of your living room to house all the workday essentials. A writing desk, comfy chair, table lamp, and a few closed baskets for storage will do the trick. The idea with this set up is to make it blend with the rest of your space. Carry the colors, textures, and patterns from the other areas in the room into your new nook.
Bins, boxes, drawers, or baskets are a must so when you're done for the day you can stash all your work paraphernalia away. If you're a fan of open shelves, use baskets and intersperse with books, framed photos, and sentimental knick knacks for that personalized touch. One of the real benefits of working from home is that you can surround yourself with pieces that bring you joy, so have fun with it!
An Office All Your Own
If you're one of the lucky ones and have a dedicated home office space, then make the most of it! Be sure to include both open and closed storage and keep items like pens, paper, and electronics chargers near your desk area. Tuck excess supplies into a cabinet or in a bin on a bookcase. An area rug, curtains, and throw pillows will add a fun splash of personality to the room.
Since you're dedicating this space for work, consider your backdrop when having virtual meetings. Be sure whatever is behind your desk looks professional, but don't be scared to inject some of your own taste. Keep in mind that you'll also want really good lighting so everyone on your Zoom call can see you. Layers of lighting (overhead, desk lamp, wall sconce) is best to ensure that even on a gray day your room is bright and easy to work in. For extra functionality consider switching out your closest outlet cover for one with a USB slot or two for easy charging. There are also pretty table lamp options that have a USB port right in the base.
Want more inspiration? Check out my office Pinterest board or shop my picks below!